Wednesday, July 22, 2015

coffee joy... maternity outfit

White Blouse ~ Thrift
White Cami ~ Walmart
Floral Palazzo Pants ~ Meijer
Vintage-Inspired Pink Earrings ~ Walmart


It is official!  I've got a watermelon belly!  ;-)  It's so funny for me looking back at early pregnancy pictures and remembering how huge I felt... I had no idea!

Truly though, I love my bump.  It can be uncomfortable at times, but I really do love how I look being pregnant.  I have never felt so physically secure in my life (funny, since I weigh a TON more than ever before)!  I suppose that's the beauty of carrying another human life...  <3

I'm actually managing to post outfit pictures that don't include a maxi skirt or dress!  ;-)  This pair of pants has been my favorite pair throughout this third trimester.  They have stretched beautifully and are incredibly comfortable.  AND this entire outfit is comprised of clothes from my pre-pregnancy wardrobe!  While I do have several maternity clothing items that have come in handy, I have found that it is definitely possible to go through a pregnancy without busting the budget on those often-expensive items.  Long camisoles, flowy blouses, empire-waist dresses, maxi skirts, and stretchy-waist pants have all been life-savers!

I'm so thankful I have found ways to use clothes during this time that will continue to be useful to me after Serenity is born.  I don't know what plans God has for us when it comes to future children/pregnancies... Rennie is a miracle we never expected.  I dearly hope that we can have more children in the future, but I am also cherishing the fact we've even been given ONE!  The thought of never experiencing this again can be hard... but there was a time not so long ago that I thought I would never have a child... God is capable of so much more than we could imagine and I hope I can keep that perspective and just trust Him.  <3

Now... details about this ensemble...  I wore this to church and also on one other day last week (yeah... I kinda love it)!
I parted my hair differently, opting for a middle instead of side part.  It was subtle, but I still enjoyed doing something a bit out-of-the-norm.
I'm not wearing much makeup.  Just a brush-over of powder and a touch of lip gloss.  Nothing on my eyes, just me.  ;-)  Life has been a lot of at-home days (which works fine since I tire so easily) and Andrew loves me with or without makeup, so most of the time my makeup is either simple or non-existent.

Starting tomorrow and through Sunday, I will be camping in the mountains with Andrew, his family, and a bunch of other families from Bible churches in this area.  Don't worry, I got midwife permission!  :-D
I'm pretty excited to get out of the hot temperatures for a few days... also realizing this is our last getaway before Serenity arrives!!!!  WOW!  Time has flown!

Well, my dears, I still need to pack before heading out tomorrow morning so this post needs to end.  
What is something you are looking forward to before the summer ends?  I think you all know my answer.  ;-)


Monday, July 20, 2015

summer showers... maternity outfit

Gray Maxi Dress ~ Thrifted
Floral Kimono ~ Walmart
White Flip-flops ~ Walmart
Gold Feather Earrings (not visible in pictures) ~ Walmart
Elven Headband ~ crafted by me
Flying Bird Necklace ~ crafted by me

Outside my window are gray skies and a lovely drizzle of rain.  Wispy clouds are blanketing the mountains and coffee tastes even better than usual.
Summer rain is one of my favorite things.  And the cooler temperatures they bring are a God-send to this barn-sized preggers person.  

This outfit is the one I wore to my first baby shower!  Oh, the soft gray material of this dress is dreamy.  It has definitely gotten a bit snug as my bump has grown, so wearing a draping kimono helped to balance the snugness.  :-)

I'm pretty limited with shoes these days.  I have been experiencing *terrible, sometimes painful* swelling in my feet (and every so often my lower legs).  I have two pairs of flip-flops that still fit comfortably (all of my close-toed shoes don't fit anymore!), so they have been my go-to choices these last few weeks.  Thankfully since its summer, flip-flops work very well!

My accessories tied into the pink and pale of the kimono.  I've really been enjoying wearing necklaces, earrings, and/or headbands with my maternity outfits!  Sadly, my wedding ring no longer fits.  I can still get it on, it's getting it OFF that scares me. 

Really HAD to include this last pic of me and my handsome photographer!  Usually I just use a tripod and timer for outfit pictures, but Andrew was home early and able to take these for me.  So thankful for this guy and how well he takes care of this little family.  <3

Thank you all for your continued prayers as we journey through this pregnancy!  We had a concern pop up over this last weekend, but after seeing my midwife and running some tests, it was confirmed that everything is still going the way it should!  *SO grateful!*  Less than four weeks till Serenity to technically full-term and less than seven till her due date!!!  WOWSERS!


Monday, July 13, 2015

believing, smiling, living...

Weeks 26-31!!!  Time is flying!!!

Oh, my friends, I have utterly failed with posting weekly bump pictures... so this post is an update on my life as well as a catch-up on preggers/life pics!  :-)

On our way to our first 3rd trimester appointment!  Andrew likes to avoid the camera, but I got him to smile!!!

Seeing… hardly any sign of my feet.  ;-)  My tummy now completely hides them.

Hearing... many people ask if I'm expecting twins (mostly in jest).  Both of my ultrasounds have assured me that there is only one baby... and they've also revealed that she is probably a big girl (doesn't surprise me since Andrew and I were both nearly nine-pound babies... not to mention that I was my mom's smallest full-term baby... and my hubby and I both have large frames as adults).  If Rennie Faye arrives at under eight pounds we will all be shocked.

Smelling.... coffee and warm summer air.  Love the former... could do without that latter.  "Bun in the oven" isn't just a cute way of saying "pregnant"... I literally feel like a living, breathing oven!

Needing... to thank whoever invented fold-over-waist linen pants!  One of my biggest problems these last few months has been how uncomfortable I find maternity pants/shorts to be!  I feel so squished.  Plus the extra over-the-belly layer of fabric is so hot to wear this time of year.  My solution was to track down a couple pairs of linen pants that happen to have a pregnancy-friendly waist (the fold-over part is made of a maxi skirt-like material!).  I found one pair at TJ Maxx and another pair on sale at Old Navy.  Score!!!  Can't wait to style these flowy, comfortable pants.

Wanting... to get the nursery finished!  Andrew has assembled the crib, so now we just need to hang some pictures!  I also need to empty out the dresser in her room... it has been my craft supplies organizer for a year or so, but now I get to stuff it full of onesies and itty-bitty socks!!!  <3

Feeling...  nervous and excited as the weeks fly away.  My Serenity-girl will be here before I know it!!!

Wishing... for Indiana weather.  Have I mentioned that it's hot here and how I'm a human oven???  ;-)

Thinking... how the dream of being a mom and the reality can be so different!  Nothing makes me feel more like an eight-year-old child than hearing the words "your daughter/baby".  Andrew has been so good at calming my heart and telling me that I will be a good mom... I don't always believe him, but it's still really sweet.  <3

Laughing... at myself.  My forgetfulness... my clumsiness... my utter whale-ness.  In these last few months especially, I've hit my head several times (on a sign, the freezer door... Andrew's head...), tripped, and stubbed my toes (thought I'd broken one, but thankfully not!) countless times.  One time I forgot I was pregnant and tried vaulting up a flight of stairs, skipping every other step, only to collapse on my knees a few steps up as my lack of balance and added weight to the front brought me down... I just sat there and laughed... 

This last Thursday:  32 weeks!!!

Believing... that God goes before me.  He goes to September to strengthen me through delivery... He goes through the years I will spend raising my daughter... He goes to the days I will fail as a parent... He goes ahead of me to every single moment.  I am so thankful for that.  Amidst all of the emotions, excitement, and fears, that is a beautiful truth to hold in my heart!

Anticipating... my second baby shower!  Friday was my first, hosted by my church, which was so sweet (thank you again, ladies!).  The second one is coming the 1st of August and will be hosted by my mom-in-love, Janine, and sister-in-love, Amanda!  I have experienced a lot of mixed emotions about these parties, mainly since none of the ladies on my side of the family can be there (one of the many sacrifices we've all made with living so far apart), but I am still *so* thankful for the women who have taken it upon themselves to help me celebrate this time and the very-soon arrival of my daughter!   Especially Janine and Amanda (seriously, I love you two so much!!!  Serenity has an amazing grandma and aunt in you both!)

Dreaming... the same as last time... of Serenity.  Almost all of my dreams include her being born!!!  One really weird dream I had recently was that I missed her birth and was really bummed out.  Yeah... my mind is a strange place.  :-P

Praying... for grace, humility, and a servant-heart as I enter this new chapter called "motherhood".  I truly want to be that mom who joyfully, whole-heartedly sacrifices her time, energy, and *self* for her child.  My mom has been a beautiful example of that.
Also desiring wisdom in continuing to adore and give of myself to Andrew as we add a third person to our family.  He is my first love and I never want to lose sight of that, even as parenting demands so much of us.  <3

Reading... Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl (very good so far... almost wish I didn't already know the ending... Anne is so plucky and, so far, this is definitely a book I want my future teenagers to read when they study WW2).  Such a touching glimpse into the life of an "ordinary" girl.  If any of you enjoy WW2 reading, I would also highly recommend "Trapped in Hitler's Hell" by Anita Dittman.  It is perhaps my favorite non-fiction I have ever read from that time-period.

Baby Shower!!!

Singing... randomly.  Worship songs, hymns, occasionally Josh Groban, the songs on the soundtrack of Spirit (blast from my childhood!!!), and oldies on the radio!

Wearing... a couple of maternity shirts.  I finally caved and bought two really cute maternity shirts, but ONLY because I had a gift card to Motherhood Maternity.  ;-)  I really do love them... they are so soft and really long (which is rare for a tall girl like me!).  One of them is featured above in my 32-week pics.

Preparing... freezer meals... very slowly.  I have a meatloaf frozen and am going to get a pot pie frozen this week as well.  Still figuring out more meals that will be super-easy and decently healthy.

Remembering... where I have been as I look towards the future.  Fertility struggles are a nightmare... they tear away at who you are and can leave you feeling so empty.  But, when morning comes, it leaves you with a perspective you would never otherwise posses.  The nights of crying myself to sleep have made the nights I can't sleep from insomnia and jumpy leg-muscles *much* more bearable.  The utter exhaustion, soreness, and emotional craziness I have experienced in this pregnancy aren't nearly as hard to shoulder as I look back on the years of waiting, praying, and hopes dashed.  Our pasts can be powerful.  They can be painful, but they can also give us incredible strength.  <3

Loving... Andrew.  Serenity.  Botanical prints.  And food.  :-P

Texting...  grocery lists to my hubby... because food. 

Knowing...  that this time will be over before I realize it!  People say that the last month or so drags... and I do get that.  With six weeks left till my due date, I am sore constantly and would love to be able to bend over again.  ;-)  But I am still really enjoying being pregnant.  I love feeling her move inside of me... I love sporting a baby bump... I don't want time to go too quickly, because before I know it she'll be grown up and having kids of her own.  So, even though some days can be slow (and I'm sure that will happen after she is born too as I go through the process of adjusting to motherhood), I am okay with that.  Each day is a blessing from God and I do truly want to embrace each one. 

Smiling... because this is all grace.  Each day my heart beats.  Each excited grin from my husband.  Each kick or stretch my daughter makes.  Each loving look from my Savior as He grows me, molds me.  I don't deserve any of it.  It is *all* grace.